St. John’s Lutheran Church, 8580 37th Ave., East Bloomfield, will celebrate 150 years of worship on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 with a theme of “Growing in Christ – I am the Vine, You are the Branches.” This sesquicentennial celebration will begin at its first service at 10 a.m., with retired Pastor G. Schapekahm officiating. Pastor Fritz, the church’s current Pastor, will preside over the second service beginning at 3 p.m. Members of the church are providing a meal in between services. A refreshment stand will also be available.
St. John’s Lutheran, East Bloomfield, to celebrate 150th Anniversary, Sept. 14, 2014
Fox Valley Lutheran High School Choir to perform at 10 a.m. service.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 8580 37th Ave., East Bloomfield, will celebrate 150 years of worship on Sunday, Sept. 14, with a theme of “Growing in Christ – I am the Vine, You are the Branches.”
This sesquicentennial celebration will begin at its first service at 10 a.m., with retired Pastor G. Schapekahm officiating. The morning service will also be enhanced with singing from the Fox Valley Lutheran High School Choir.
Pastor Fritz, the church’s current Pastor, will preside over the second service beginning at 3 p.m. Members of the church are providing a meal in between services. A refreshment stand will also be available.
Former pastors, teachers and students have been invited to share in this 150th Anniversary in the Grace of the Lord.
Picture displays of former and current pastors and classes will be set up for visitors to enjoy.
The first of three churches was built in 1864 about a mile southwest of its current site. A cemetery now marks the former location. The second church, constructed in 1876, is now used as the parochial grade school, where 30 students from 4-K through 8th grade attend.
Pastor Theo. Jaekel is considered the founder and organizer of the congregation, serving from 1865-68. A log church was erected, and a constitution drawn up and adopted on Jan. 30, 1868.
First resident pastor in 1875 was Erdmann A. Pankow. The following year, a second church was built and the congregation was received into membership with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
The present church was dedicated Aug. 23, 1891 and the bell was dedicated at the same time.
Under the direction of Paulus W. Weber In the early 1920s, English preaching was introduced (until then all services were conducted in German). In 1924, the Ladies Aid Society was organized and in 1982, Rev. N.A. Gieschen started a Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society. The Parent-Teacher Organization was established in 1974.
Major renovation projects have been undertaken including art glass windows installed in 1934. The first carpeting was laid in 1939 and communion rails were added in 1964.
In 1973, a new pipe organ was installed and a year later new carpeting was laid in the alter niche and church aisles, along with new doors and a communion rail with cushions.
Numerous projects were completed in 1988 with the major improvements including the redecoration of the church interior; pews and floors refinished; new carpet installed in chancel; a new entrance door and new ceiling fans.
In 1995 a new roof was added at the school and in 1997 a new roof to the parsonage.
The first church organ arrived in 2002, a church bell tower was installed with an electric cross built by Bob Stevens, a new roof was put on the church and a Mother’s Room built. A new addition to the front of the church was part of the projects in 2008, along with carpeting for the steps and choir loft.
Most recent additions include Geo-Thermal installed in 2013, and new church ceiling fans, improved school floor, new siding on the church, school and teacherage and new church carpeting in 2014.
Former Pastors of St. Johns included the following: Pastor TH. Jaekel, 1864-68; Aug. Wiese, 1868-70; John Meyer, 1871-75; E. A. Pankow, 1875-78; H. C. Dagefoerde, 1878-79; J. J. E, Sauer, 1880-86; Pastor TH Bast, 1887-90; F. Thurn, 1890-92; J. Zuberbier, 1892-1919; P. W. Weber, 1920-25; A. E. Schneider, 1925-47; H. M. Schwartz, 1948-55; W. H. Zickhur, 1955-62; Pastor H. Scherf, 1963-66; Two Vicars, Vicar David Meyer, 1967-68 and Vicar Alvin Aickele, 1968-69; Pastor Richard Maurice, 1970-75; Pastor Floyd Brand, 1976-80; Pastor Norbert Gieschen, 1981-94; Pastor Roger Carter, 1995-99; Pastor G. Schapekahm, 1999-2010 and Pastor Paul Fritz, 2010-present.
Current school teachers are Principal Ian Watson, who teaches 5th-8th grade and Linda Kiecker, who works with 4K-4th grade and is entering her 27th year of teaching.
Current church souls include 277 with 223 communicant members.
For more information regarding the 150th Anniversary Celebration, call the church office at 920-446-3812.
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